Friday, January 25, 2008

The Quantum of Dying Tomorrow with a View of the Casino

James Bond film titles are a unique literary genre. Some are routine  - Casino Royale, Dr No, Goldfinger. But most are quite meaningless -  A View to a Kill, Die Another Day, Never Say Never Again, You Only Live Twice, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough, The Living Daylights. This group is interesting, no other films series has such titles. None of this latter group have any special connection to the film to which they are attached. All seem intended to suggest some kind of fatal encounter, but the technique varies. Breaking this group down further, we have the hortatory - Never Say Never Again, Die Another Day, the proverbial - Tomorrow Never Dies, You Only Live Twice, the thrillerish - The Living Daylights, A View to a Kill and the philosophical - The World is Not Enough. Yesterday the title of the latest was unveiled with a flourish that suggested it was an event as important as the film itself. The title is Quantum of Solace. It is the worst Bond film title ever and, I predict, it will be abandoned before the movie is released. Meanwhile, I feel I can help. I suggest Tomorrow is Too Early, Too Many Spies Die Just Before Dawn or, my favourite, Never Die Twice.

23 comments:

  1. Who thinks these titles up?

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  2. The quantum theory of insanity?

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  3. Never Die Again on a Golden Tomorrow Twice

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  4. A View to a Till.

    Never Say Clever Again.

    You Only Live Thrice.

    Who the hell came up with Quantum of Solace? I think you are right, it will have to be changed. I'd love to know what the thinking was behind it. I think I can guess, but it is too embarrassing to reveal.

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  5. Leave It To Me.

    (I go for simple and straightforward)

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  6. It was the title of an Ian Fleming short story, Neil.

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  7. Great stuff, guys. Q of S was a short story title of Fleming's, a pretty good reason not to read him.

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  8. Thanks, Ian and Bryan. A very short story, I hope.

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  9. It sounds like the title of a Patrick O'Brian book.

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  10. Yes, in fact here's the MS;

    Quantum of Solace

    by Ian fleming

    Bond sighed.

    END.

    see, the action takes place in Japan - bonsai'd. small book, small trees....

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  11. Bond will hopefully die off when the current crop of middle aged fantasists out there, who still subscribe to this tedious franchise pass into retirement. This is the worst kind of film making. A marketing exercise that hinges almost entirely on the title and the car. The ethos is to fool the audience into the cinema, once they're inside, feed them any old crap, as long as it's loud and expensive looking most of them won't notice this is writing by numbers - a shoddy plot stringing together derivative set pieces and cliched one liners.

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  12. it is the film making equivalent of Starbucks and MacDonalds - the people want something they can always rely on.

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  13. Howzabout "Quintilla of Solace"? Neruda wrote a few of those -- very comforting. Or the "Chinchilla of Solace" -- warm, fuzzy, cuddly. Can later be made into a coat for perennial warmth.

    Now *that's* solace!

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  14. They should trust the next film screenplay to Elberry. i'd do a good job on it, include some extended hand-to-hand rucks in the backstreets of Bradford and Sunderland, Bond against 30 tattooed thugs all called 'Daz'.

    It would be called, simply, 'Bond vs Bradford'.

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  15. Apparently the BBC are running a poll on this and "Quantum of Solace" is proving surprisingly popular. As for suggesting a fatal encounter, "The Clown Who Loved Me" would be terminal for plenty of folks. I'm holding out for "The Consoling Higgs Boson" in which Adam Hart-Davis plays the chief baddie, eventually becoming trapped in a medieval torture machine of his own devising when a demonstration goes wrong. I guess it doesn't really matter what the film is called. People will still watch it, if only in a stupor when it's on the box one Christmas evening.

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  16. With Craig's grittier Bond, perhaps they should make the enigmatic phrases a bit earthier.

    eg.
    Pass Us The Salt Will You
    I Used To Have One Of Those
    Come On Let's See It Then

    They'd make good songs, too.

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  17. I even read that short story (I read all the Bond books when I was a young-end teenager, if I ever was). I actually remember it. The film won't be anything like it, even if it does keep its title.

    Quantum entanglement.
    (maxine)

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  18. Got my physicist hat on now. Solace ain't quantisable (go on, prove me wrong).

    How about:
    Shaken AND stirred.
    Martini with a View.
    Bondmaker.
    State of Excitement

    I can't see 'The Hildebrand Rarity' making it to be honest.


    p.s. looking forward to Sunday ...

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  19. 'The Universe Has Ears'

    As daft as all the other Bond titles, but for a seeker after solace what greater consolation than a feeling that, on the grandest of scales, his anguish will be detected. If you insist on the title having relevance to Bond, it could be a reference to GCHQ and listening stations. Then again .....

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  20. Nothing says 'British hero' like:

    'A Yard of Apple'.

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